...Wyden suggests that the NSA is either tracking or has been studying tracking millions of Americans. Presumably Wyden isn't allowed to explicitly say what the NSA is doing, so his suggestions should probably be given more weight than suggestions by others...
"What I don't want to do, senator, is to put out in an unclassified forum on anything that's classified here," [NSA Director Gen. Keith] Alexander said...
"General, if you're responding to my question by not answering it because you think that's a classified matter, that is certainly your right," Wyden said. "We will continue to explore that because I believe this is something the American people have a right to know."
...In a hearing in March, Wyden asked James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, whether the NSA collects any data on millions of Americans. Clapper insisted that the NSA does not — or at least does "not wittingly" — collect data in bulk.
After leaks by Edward Snowden revealed the agency collects data on all U.S. phone calls, Clapper apologized for the misleading comment.
At Thursday's hearing, Wyden accused the leaders of the intelligence agencies of building a system "that repeatedly deceived the American people."
"Time and time again, the American people were told one thing about domestic surveillance in public forums while government agencies did something else in private," Wyden said.
In related news, the feckless Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) inadvertently revealed that the "NSA can collect email and other communications directly from the backbone (rather than from the internet companies themselves)."
In other words, the NSA is -- like the rest of the bureaucracy -- completely out of control. It is operating without lawful authority to collect information on U.S. citizens who have been accused of no wrongdoing whatsoever.
This is how countries descend into tyranny, step-by-step, like a frog in water that is slowly brought to a boil.
Hat tip: BadBlue Gun News.